Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Designer WTF?

With Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj walking around looking ridiculous, high concept jewelry has never been more, um, whatthefuckish. Here is another round of ridiculous jewelry bought to you by GIS.

First off, how about some eye jewelry? For a mere $15,000 you can have decorative lenses made just for you. These are the yellow gold ones. You can also have white gold. For extra super bling, you can have them encrusted with diamonds. Because nothing says beauty like killer robots with lasers that shoot out from their eyes.

Big on the runway this season: Face jewelry! For when you're too ugly to be seen without a thick covering of gemstones on your face. Design team Erickson and Beamon have done work for Lady Gaga. . . and Michelle Obama. Can't wait for next year's Inauguration Ball!

Taxidermy jewelry.

I have nothing more to say except:

Oh hai! Have you seen my finger? It's about yay long and looks like a turd? I lost it when I turned into a zombie.

O.K., I gotta admit it. I really like Baiyang's designs. This is a cloud ring made from sterling silver and styrofoam. This ring is not practical but I'll be danged if it isn't totally adorable.

And there you have it. Another installation of art jewelry you can't (or shouldn't, if you know what's good for you) wear.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oodles of Doodles

Do you doodle in the margins? I always did and now that I spend a lot of time with wire, I doodle there too. If my tool case is nearby I toss the doodles in there.

Now that looks like a jumbled mess that I oughta toss. What it actually is are doodles and remnant pieces of wire that will become doodles. What is a doodle? Well, there are some letters in there. For example, here's a 'B':

I have yet to master a capital 'A' but in trying I can make a bitchin' candle. I've also got clovers and loop de loops tangled in there.

With all the weaving I've been doing lately, I've had a lot of thin gauge wire scraps. Those are fun to doodle with. I've made flowers:

and bicycles

and people

One day I'll make a people on a bicycle pendant if I can figure out how to get the guy to sit on the bike.

Yeah, I need a hobby. Oh wait, this is my hobby! I guess I'll carry on.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Monday, February 27, 2012

I Did Find Time For Jewelry

Even though this last week was a whirlwind of crap on top of appointments that were indistinguishable from disappointment, I still found time for jewelry making. It's good that I did. It's how I restrain myself from stabbing stinky fellow bus riders in the throat when they won't stop being stinky while trying to engage me in their schizophrenic word salad conversations. I just say to myself, self when you get home you can beat with a hammer and punch holes in some metal.

I loved this ring so much I wore it and I will wear it again. I enjoyed it so much I made it some companions. These companions are only to keep it company since I cannot wear them. The earrings I can't wear because I can't wear any earrings. The holes in my ears have closed.

The bracelet is non-wearable because I am a horrible, terrible jewelry maker. While I did measure it against my wrist while constructing it, I did not take into account that my big, fat hand will have to fit through it also. But it's worse than that. Not only does my big, fat hand not fit through the bangle, no one under the age of 7 will be able to fit their hand through it. It is pretty though.

This here is a copper tree necklace. It was only after I affixed the stuff to the copper that I realized the edges could use a whole lot more banging. As soon as I get more copper sheets I will revisit this type design/technique whosits with better proportioned elements, more texture on the curly vine connections and a much more hammered edge.

It is obvious I need a lot more practice in texturing with a hammer. Not only did the copper square edges not get the proper amount of beating but the curly connection links lost their texture once they were curled around a dowel.

P.S., Is it cheating that I use random orbital sander to knock down the sharp edges of my copper squares? Because it would take days to get them so that they don't draw blood otherwise.

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Sunday, February 26, 2012

See What Had Happened Was. . .

Very busy not getting a job and reading the second book in the Song of Fire and Ice series and visiting doctors. Excuses all. I'm also of the opinion that if one of these interviews I go to actually results in a job, this blog will be very sparse indeed.

But for now, how 'bout some Sunday Sillies celebrity puns?

That's all I got. Hardly nothing after a week of no posts. Still-- puns!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This Entry Is Not About Hole Punching Even Though That's All I Ever Talk About

Wire weaving. I am obsessed by it. It is my new and most favorite technique. I have made my favorite piece of jewelry using it. If I keep doing it, I should get better and better at it so my weaving will be more precise and neat and my designs can get more intricate. I hope.

This ring is my favorite. If I had two other crystals like this, I'd make matching earrings. But I don't have two other stones, only one. Should have thought to make earrings with them in the first place.

But waitaminit! Now that I'm sitting here typing these words, it struck me. I should make another ring! Because I like this ring so much, I'm gonna wear it. Which is saying a lot because even though I make scads of jewelry, I don't wear any. I don't wear make-up either. It's this philosophy I have about gilding the turd. Yeah, I've decided. Making another one of these.

A couple of entries back I spoke about wanting to try a three pronged weave. This is my first try at it. It is unevenly spaced and a little wonky, but not bad for a first try, I think.

The same piece face front. The bead used is a beautiful tiger quartz that I hope to find again someday once I'm able to buy more crap. Sometimes it isn't easy to find the same stones again, especially if purchased from a meatspace store. On line stores seems to have an endless cache of whatever it is they sell. At the local store, you get what they get and that's it.

This is a heart pendant. Isn't she pretty? The dip between her two ventricles is a loop and not the traditional sharp 'V' because I wasn't sure the weave would bend that way and keep it's weave-y integrity. Which made the heart a bit smaller than intended. No matter, she's still pretty.

I wanted to try a tighter weave so I made this snake ring. After I made it I realized I could have made a much, much better snake ring if I had known starting out I was making a snake ring. Another one of these will be made and this time the snake will have a rattle on its tail and a flicking tongue at its head.

And there you have it, my latest obsession. I am now off to Ace Handicraft (THEY HAVE PARKING!) to get more wire even though I said I wasn't going to buy more craft junk. This is only because this is an emergency. All that obsessing as depleted my wire stock and I need some ASAP. Being out of 16 gauge silver and gold colored wire is not makeing me twitchy. Nope. Not at all. Not feeling the least bit uncomfortable knowing I have no 16 gauge wire. Because I do have 18 gauge and that's almost the same thing, right? RIGHT??!!!

Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy
PinkSlinkie's Artfire Studio

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This Entry Is Not About Wire Weaving Even Though That's All I've Been Doing Lately

Besides bitching and punching holes in copper, I've been doing a lot of wire weaving. Had to stop punching holes in copper because I ran out of copper. I am trying to resist the urge to buy more copper sheets. Cannot buy any more jewelry crap until I find a job. That's the deal I made with myself to show myself that I AM NOT A CRAFTING ADDICT. I can stop whenever I want to. I just don't want to. Just in case I really am an addict, I've decided to crunch some numbers.

Contenti has 22 gauge copper at $16 for 144 square inches. About .11 psi.
Beaducation is selling 24 gauge copper squares. That's 1.5 square inches at .70 .
FJD On Time (what kind of name is that for a jewelry supply outfit?) has a $1.95 copper "practice" sheet that is six square inches.
I think we have a winner! And, Metaliferous has a 6x6 22gauge sheet for 3.80. This is a PDF, btw. Spending three dollars and eighty cents isn't really spending money on jewelry crap, is it?

For your viewing pleasure, here is a pendant made totally with cold connections.

Jima and Carlie Abbot say this is all cold connected and I'm sure they wouldn't lie about it. I'd love to see which cold connection techniques they used to make that lovely pendant. O.K., I'll be honest. I don't personally know Jima or Carlie and I have no idea whether or not they are big fat liars, so I'm not sure at all that they wouldn't lie. But, it has been my experience that artisan jewelry makers don't lie about how they made their stuff. So, yeah, I'm almost sure they wouldn't lie about it.

P.S. FDJ On Time is a Canadian kind of name for a jewelry supply outlet. Just so's you know, they only take Western Union internationally.

If you guessed I bought the copper, you'd be wrong. Oh, I went to the site, put it in my shopping cart, clicked checkout and estimated the shipping cost and then. . . firstly, the price of copper has risen and the sheet is now $4.55 and the cheapest shipping price is $12.50. Seventeen dollars is a lot different from three eighty.

PinkSlinkie's Artfire
Queen of Sheeeba's Etsy

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

Just because I've decided I can't buy anything hobby or jewelry-making related until I get a job, that doesn't mean I can't beg my family for my fix. And even though my birthday was on January 31 and the gift didn't arrive until this last Friday, I will not complain about how late it was. This is me not complaining. My son got me this little gadget right here. A pin hole punch. I had to immediately go play with my new toy.

In this house there are four copper squares. I only know where one is, or was. As I type this I am thinking of places where I can look for the other 3 pieces of copper. In fact this entry could have been posted at 7 o'clock this morning if I didn't keep thinking of new places to look. And if I had been awake. As it was, I ripped up the one piece of copper I had into even smaller pieces to experiment with my new handy-dandy pin hole punch.

I had this idea in my head and I couldn't wait nor do anything properly at all before I got to use my new hole punch. I cut the copper with tin snips and to hell with those sharp, pointy, puncturing edges! I had hole punching to do!

Over to the left you can see how my experiment went. It went well, if I say so myself. Which is not good because now I wished I had prepared the copper properly. They would have made neat earrings or links in a bracelet or decorations on a necklace. Now they can only be jewelry for masochists who like tearing their flesh on the edges of their body ornaments.

I was much more circumspect on the next piece. These earring edges are filed and sanded down to a nice smooth finish. I used a power orbital sander to knock them down and a hand file to round the edges. Using the hand file on this thing made my teeth itch. It seriously rubbed me the wrong way. The suffering I do for my art.

In preparation for the arrival of my pin hole punch, I sanded the oxidation off of the copper square. To my chagrin, the copper started to tarnish again almost immediately. Of couse, before I sanded it it was mostly blue/green with only flashes of dark brown, but that was with years of turning. Perfect condition for another experiment.

The sharp-edged pieces not only did not get sanded, it got no special treatment whatsoever. I just cut the squares, punched the holes, added the vines and called it a day. The long earrings got re-sanded for non-stabby reasons, and it was so much more shinier and prettier than the unsanded. I wanted to preserve the shiny. I know that it is air that does the oxidation so I figured if I could get air to not touch it. . .. The earrings are sprayed with a clear coat of lacquer. Only time will tell if that'll work to keep it shiny looking.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Sillies Valentine Warning

Understand that I've been married for either 24 or 25 years-- you lose count after a while-- and if Hubby came home with a Valentine's gift I would immediately wonder who gave him the old, stale candy he didn't want to eat. Still, you can't tell us how to work this love thing. We're gonna work it for at least another 20 years or so. In that spirit, happy Valentine's!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'm Not Stuck In A Rut, I'm Trending

Trying different techniques is a very large part of what is fun about making jewelry. It is especially fun when the technique doesn't cost any money. Or, any MORE money. Even though I'm sure I'd love metal clay or polymer bead making or even something as basic as soldering and using a torch, I don't try it because those things involve an investment in supplies or equipment or both (table top kilns start at about six hundred bucks).

But wire weaving, well that's free (she says as she runs out of 16 gauge wire because of all the wire weaving she's done)! I did the weave cages that I posted previously and think look cool. I have seen cabochons captured with weaved wire. Then there were all those crocheted and knitted wire things that looked nice but I was never, ever going to do because I can't crochet or knit. But then I was struck by inspiration. What if I weaved instead of knitting or crocheting? That I could do.

Here are a bracelet and a ring that I weaved. That I wove. That I weavated. That I made. I'm going to do more weaving. I'd like to try a flat weave with three weavey sticks. I'm sure there is a proper and technical name for "weavey sticks" but damned if I know what it is. Weave supports.

Sigh. O.K., I looked it up. And I still don't know what to call them. They're either called 'warp' or 'weft'. I'm going with 'warp': I'd like to try a flat weave with three warps. It's just a jump to the left. Let's do the three warps again!

Repeating a different pattern, here is a dragonfly to go along with all the other meadowland buddies I've been making lately. As if I'm not frightened to death of nature. The first time I saw a real dragonfly I shrieked like Jamie Lee Curtis babysitting on Halloween. I should make a cricket so that this spring when one sneaks into my house, hides and drives me crazy with the racket, I can symbolically drive a spiked heel through its exoskeleton.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Return Of The One Handed Tutorial

If there's one thing I'm sure you can't get enough of, it's badly lit, clumsily photographed and incoherently explained tutorials. In defense of my terrible tutorials, alls I can say is: at least there is no off-camera, shrieking bird. That happened in a professional YouTube instructional video I watched once. The bird didn't shriek constantly. No, it waited and waited until it was sure everyone had settled down from the heart attach its previous shriek caused and then, in the lull between directions from the video host, would go SHRREEEEKKKEKEKKEEEEEEEEEAARRRRRRK!!!!!!!

Luckily, I don't have any birds. Or any audio. This is a good thing. No one understands me when I talk anyway. Plus people make fun of my accent. And by people, I mean my children. My mean, mean children. Yeah, so no audio. Here is a picture of what I'm not showing you how to make in this tutorial in which you cannot hear my bad accent:

My Etsy Storefront

My Artfire Studio

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Better Than Murder

They say that pain increases the creative spirit. They also say "it's too cold to snow", so it should be established that they are a bunch of idiots. Still, once I was released from my pain I did go on a creative jag. Here's what I did.

Remember that bird and nest that I didn't know what to do with? Here they are. I would like to make a wire stand for it but I think soldering would be involved and I don't solder. Don't own a torch and wouldn't know what to do with one anyway. Perhaps I'll get my son to do it. Or, much more likely, I'll attach picture wire to the back.

Once I made a bird, I saw no reason not to make a butterfly. I didn't see a reason to make one either but what the hell, here's a butterfly. The question now is should I frame it like the bird and nest or should I attach it somehow to a stick so some young girl with poor taste and rainbow unicorn posters in her room can wear it in her hair. I think I could even ribbon it into a necklace. How 'bout a stand alone butterfly just being all butterflyery laying about and not doing anything. I don't know! My imagination is failing me. Maybe I need another douse of incredible pain to grease the engines.

Still on a nature kick, I made these leaf earrings. There is only a picture of one because I showed my husband one when I was done making them and he ate it. Or stuck it up his bum. Or threw it in the trash-- I dunno. All I know is I showed it to him and it disappeared.

Stars, that's what I was seeing while writhing around wishing I were dead. Bright red sunbursting stars. Here they are in wire form. What are they? Earrings? Charms on a bracelet? Something to lay next to the butterfly with no other purpose than to be wire wrapped stars laying about? I tell you there is no meaning to my wrapping now that I'm not trying to sell everything I make.

Enough with this nature crap. Here's a fancy bracelet instead. I may put it up for sale or I may wear it to the job interview I have tomorrow. Once I wear it it can't be sold. Thems the rules, I didn't make them up. Oh wait, yes I did.

One last thing. This here turquoise ring. This ring I would wear for sure except that it's a size 6 and it won't fit my sausage fingers. You'd think I'd be smart enough to make a ring that would fit me but you'd be so, so wrong. About as wrong as 'they' are about most things.